I hope everyone after four practices has gotten into the Christmas Spirit for the semester. This song I’m about to write about is often used for all ages – because this can be used as a round; a type of song that children like to sing with each of them starting at different parts with the same melody; or the whole song sung through with the entire choir. The traditional version of Christmas is Coming is heard as the identical melody to the English dance tune Country Gardens but other melodies have been used in the song.
In the past, this song has been sung by the Kingston Trio for their album The Last Month of the Year and titled as A Round About Christmas. If any of you like old time folk music, then this would be a nice soothing song to get you ready for December. Other artists have sung this including Bing Crosby; who sung Christmas is a Comin’; rearranged by Frank Luther. You can also listen to the instrumental version on Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack arranged by Vince Guaraldi.
For the semester, this version is arranged by Andy Beck. He’s a graduate of Ithaca College with a Masters degree in Music education; and now is a music director, composer and arranger of popular Christmas music scores. For more information of him and his scores, visit his site at https://www.singers.com/arrangers/Andy-Beck/. This traditional English round has been re-embellished with new lyrics and make people come together while the season will be busy. The tune has been added with a new composed bridge and will make a wonderful opening for the concert.
In case you don’t know what the traditional nursery rhyme is like, here’s what it’s like in case you want to teach your young children and grandchildren:
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!
This week I am going to be analyzing What Is This Feeling? from Wicked,
Wicked first premiered on Broadway in 2003 and starred India Menzel as Elphaba and Kristin Cheonweth as Galinda. It is currently still on Broadway. I do not know who is playing the lead characters though.
When I think of this song I am immediately bought back to college when I met my roommate for the first time freshmen year. This is situation that Glinda and Elphaba find themselves in at the beginning of the show. In this song they are writing letters to their parents explaining what their roommate is like. I got along well with my roommate but at the first meeting it does not look like Elphaba and Glinda are going to get along. I am Glinda in this song and it fun to explore that character a little bit better. Developing this character will be fun as rehearsals for my cabaret progress. It is clear that they do not like each other and that Elphaba is different from the rest of them. That is why the other Shiz students side with Galinda. One thing that I really love about Wicked is the growth that the relationship between Glinda and Elphaba grows and how the “unadulterated loathing” eventually goes away.
I am very excited about my cabaret that I am doing at work. I am also hoping to achieve the girl of this performance of the song Angels on My Shoulder that Dan Wolaver composed for me. I think it would be a nice tribute to Dan to perform it. What Is This Feeling was performed in our spring concert ins 2016 Comedy tonight performed by Kim Whitehead and Rachel Cerullo.
This post was originally supposed to be posted on November 21st but had to be moved up a couple weeks due to lack of information provided on both Flowers In Winter and Goin To Bethlehem to do an analysis. Next week’s analysis will be on Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
I get to talk to one of my favorite movie musicals of all time in this post and I am so excited. I first saw the Sound Of Music when I was 10 years old at my grandparents house… it was first introduction to musical movies. Did you know that the Von Trapps were a real family of musicians? I have been to the Von Trapp family lodge in Stowe Vermont and it is such a fun place to go.. I really want to go back! The movie is actually based on the memoir of Maria Von Trapp which was published in 1947 after her husband Georg’s death. Maria Von Trapp was portrayed on screen by the great Dame Julie Andrews and Captain Von Trapp was played by Christopher Plummer. The stage musical premiered on Broadway in the Lunt Fontaine Theatre on November 16th, 1959 and the movie premiered in 1965. Mary Martin played Maria Von Trapp and Captain Von Trapp was portrayed by Theodore Bikel.
MY favorite songs from the Sound Of Music include I Have Confidence, 16 Going On 17, My Favorite Things, Something Good and Do Re Mi. The song I am going to talk about today is Edelweiss.
First of all what is Edelweiss? It is a flower that is a popular flower in Sweden and Austria. It means noble white in German, This flower grows high in the Alps.
This song is beautiful and I always thought it had wonderful harmonies in it. SVC performed it in their Christmas Around The World concert in 2012. This song was written for the Sound Of Music because it was a good representation of guitar playing and folk singing. It is sung in the festival performance scene in the movie and musical. The actor who played Georg in the musical was a good guitar player so this song was well suited for him. Sadly this was the last song that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote together before Hammerstein died of cancer.
How is this song related to Christmas and the holiday season? I wondered the same thing recently. If you listen to the lyrics it says “Blossom of Snow may you bloom and glow?” As I mentioned Edelweiss means Noble White in German which makes perfect sense for the holiday season. While The Sound Of Music is technically not a holiday film Edelweiss and My Favorite Things are my favorite Christmas songs from that movie.
Sources: Wikkipedia and Broadway Musicals The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time
Hello, I am pleased to be a part of the chorus family of Souhegan Valley, although I’ve decided to take a break for the fall in order to adjust my work schedule. The Christmas season hopefully will get our spirits up after what’s been happening lately. This season I am going to be helping out with posts on the songs for the semester along with Janine Leffler and Sonya Walcott. To start off, let me tell you about the Christmas Carol that you are used to singing when thinking about the Birth of Jesus.
In Luke 2:14, it celebrates with the Angels singing in heaven before the echoing off the mountains. The Shepards lay in the field keeping watch over the flock by night. The French loved to sing about this during the holiday season, and they did before the lyrics were translated and recreated by James Chadwick in 1862. The English lyrics aren’t exactly like the translation from the French version; but it still demonstrates joy and glory when singing.
The song opens with the invitation for Christians to come see the birth of baby Jesus, and then asks why the celebration; before the third stanza talks about the invitation. The best part is the “Gloria in Excelsis Dio“; latin for Glory to God in the Highest. This was arranged in the chorus part by Edward Snippen Barnes. Today Christians who attend church on Christmas eve or Christmas day sing this tune after the Gospel reading.
Two years ago the chorus did an alternative version called Sing with the Angels. After two verses, we sung the Gloria part. I thought this was one of my favorite songs for the semester. Once you get into the chorus part let your mind and souls be in good spirit, and don’t try to brush too much with your vocal chords. I hope reading about this gives you a good idea of where this song came from.
For the next two weeks the songs I am featuring will be from the Christmas Around The World concert which was in 2012. This week’s song will be Coventry Carol and next week’s song will be Edelweiss from ONE of my favorite musicals The Sound Of Music. Originally I was supposed to analyze Carol From An Irish Cabin this week but I could not find any info about the song.
This concert was performed before I joined the chorus but I have listened to the recording. It is an English Carol from the 16th century. It is part of a mystery play that was performed in English Christmas pageants. While it is a beautiful piece of music the story behind it is very sad. It is about how King Herod ordered the deaths of thousands of children under the age of two to be killed in Bethlehem. It is meant to be a luallby that the mothers sing to their dying children. I can’t even begin to put myself in the place of the mothers in this song.. mostly because I do not have any children of my own yet but it definitely pulls at the heartstrings.
New England Brass also performed this song in our Christmas In The British Isles concert last year.
A recent version of this song was performed by Pentatonix.
For the first installment of my Songs of Christmas Past Series I am going to be talking about Blue Christmas which was part of last year’s concert Christmas In The British Isles.
The original version of this song was performed by Doye O’Dell in 1948. It’s popularity was cemented eight years later in 1957 on Elvis Presley’s Christmas Album. Since that time numerous music groups have done covers of this song including The Beach Boys, Loretta Lynn, Martina McBride and Blake Shelton. In our performance Roger Hurd did an amazing solo.
Source for information: Wikipedia
Wow! This summer flew by quickly. Can’t believe that the Ice Cream Social is in a few weeks and looking forward to seeing everyone there.
This year is the 40th Anniversary Of SVC And In honor of the occasion I will be doing a special series Songs Of Christmas Past which will focus on songs from previous holiday concerts. Due to other engagements I will not be returning this semester to sing.
Here are the songs I’ll be analyzing
Blue Christmas Christmas In The British Isles
Carol From An Irish Cabin Christmas In The British Isles
Edelweiss Christmas Around The World
Flowers In Winter Sounds Of The Season
Goin To Bethlehem Sounds Of The Season
Hot Chocolate Christmas In Hollywood
Jingle Bell Hallelujah Ring Christmas Bells
That’s Christmas To Me Ring Christmas Bells